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Thursday 21 September 2017

One-in-five 'unhappy' with intern experience

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

ONE-in-five interns who secured a place on the Government's JobBridge scheme have left their placement early because they are unhappy with the experience.

An independent review of the scheme, set up by the Government in 2011 to provide internships of up to nine months for people on social welfare, has found that most placements ended early, with more than 1,100 people leaving because they were "dissatisfied".

However, most left early because they secured a full-time job, the Indecon report finds, adding that more than half of those who took part now have paid employment.

JobBridge interns earn an extra €50 on top of their social welfare allowances for working. The scheme is designed to allow people gain work experience in the hope they will secure a job afterwards.

Some 11,246 have taken part in the scheme since July 2011, and there are currently 5,145 interns. Another 2,100 posts are advertised on the website www.jobbridge.ie.

The report finds that 52pc of those who completed the programme are now in paid employment, which Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said was "one of the best outcomes in Europe for work placement programmes".

"JobBridge was a pillar of the Government's jobs initiative," she said. "Its goal is to help people seeking employment to gain valuable work experience and enhance their prospects of getting a job.

However, the report finds a "high" proportion of interns were not completing their placements.

"There have been a relatively high proportion of interns not completing their internships," it says.

"By September 2012, 2,295 or 41pc of internships were completed in full, while 3,297 or 59pc were ended before their scheduled time frame.

"While this was of initial concern to Indecon, on more detailed examination it is evident that the main reason for early completion, cited by 66.3pc of respondents to Indecon's survey of interns, was that they secured employment.

Concern

"However, one-third of participants cited dissatisfaction with their placement as a reason for early completion."

It adds that 3pc of employers said that JobBridge placements had replaced jobs held by previous employees, "although this is difficult to verify".

It also found that employment rates among graduates and those without a third-level qualification were much the same after completing work experience.

It also finds that most interns were employed in the services/retail sector (16pc), and that private companies were the biggest employers.

Most companies had less than 50 employees, and 35 had taken on 20 or more interns.

Irish Independent

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